Let other guests bring the wine.

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I live very far away from my family, which means during the holidays, I can’t usually make the trip for long weekends or Thanksgiving. Luckily, I have great friends who always invite me to spend time with them at their homes. My first inclination whenever I’m invited to a celebration is to bring a nice bottle of wine. It's usually my go-to hostess gift. When you don’t know someone very well, it’s hard to think outside the box while still staying on budget. A bottle of wine usually feels like the best and easiest option.

But this year, I really want to give the family I’m spending Thanksgiving with something special, something that goes beyond the traditional bottle of vino. So I scoured the internet for unexpected (yet, affordable) gifts to give the hostess. I came across this decanter at Anthropologie and I was instantly smitten with the delicate, yet sophisticated design. Instead of spending $28 dollars on a nice bottle of wine or a selection of chocolate and cheese, I bought this pretty decanter instead.

It is a definite upgrade from a bottle of wine—it's a more permanent and thoughtful gift. It's also super practical: Chances are, at least one other guest will bring vino, so the hostess can immediately put your gift to good use. Plus, this gift leaves an impression long after you've gone home. Every time they use it, your hosts will think of you (and your good taste). And the engraved crystalline glass will look gorgeous on a table or bar cart, whether it’s this year or the next… or the next.

To buy: $28; anthropologie.com.